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Lobo backup forward Pinchuk announces he will transfer

Lobos sophomore center Vladimir Pinchuk grabs the ball during the Nov. 24, 2018, game against UTEP in Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

The Lobos are getting thinner in the front court.

Vladimir Pinchuk, the 6-foot-11, 235-pound power forward from Germany who came off the bench for the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team the past two seasons, has announced he is transferring.

The junior-to-be made the decision with UNM on Monday and announced the news publicly on Tuesday morning via his Instagram page.

“After two memorable years as a Lobo and much thought and discussion with my coaches,” Pinchuk wrote, “I have decided to enter my name into the NCAA transfer portal. I want to thank all of my coaches and teammates for giving me the great opportunity to develop myself both as a basketball player and as a person. I also want to thank the Lobo fans and all of the supporters for welcoming me and being there to cheer on the Lobos in The Pit. I’m looking forward to my next adventure and wish the best of luck for my teammates this upcoming season!”

Pinchuk started 11 of 31 games played this past season as a sophomore and often proved to be a steadying defensive presence in the post. He averaged 3.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 13.7 minutes per game during the 2018-19 season.

After transferring, he will have to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer rules and then have two more years of eligibility remaining.

The decision helps the Lobos move closer to the NCAA mandated scholarship limit of 13 for the coming season, but there is still expected to be roster movement for the program — both with incoming and potentially outgoing players.

As of Tuesday morning, the Lobos appeared to be at 14 scholarship players. However, of the five newcomers that would be expecting scholarships, not all have yet qualified to enroll, the Journal has learned. UNM can not comment specifically on those matters unless and until a final determination on their eligibility has been made.

For now, here is a list at the possible 2019-20 Lobo basketball roster, which doesn’t have to be finalized until the start of fall semester classes in August.

Returning on scholarship (9):

• F Carlton Bragg, 6-10

• PG Drue Drinnon, 6-0

• G/F Vance Jackson, 6-9

• G JaQuan Lyle, 6-5

• G/F Makuach Maluach, 6-7

• F Corey Manigault, 6-9

• G Zane Martin, 6-4

• PG Keith McGee, 6-3

• G Tavian Percy, 6-5

Recruits to be on scholarship (5):

• F Emmanuel Andrew, 6-6 (freshman)

• PG J.J. Caldwell, 6-1 (transfer)

• G Vante Hendrix, 6-5 (transfer)

• C Antwan January, 6-11 (freshman)

• G Kurt-Curry Wegscheider, 6-3 (freshman)

Walk-ons (3):

• F Jordan Arroyo, 6-7

• G Daniel Headdings, 6-3 (newcomer)

• G Clay Patterson, 6-1

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